Cleansing of the Temple – Does Jesus Sanction Violence Is His Behavior a Norm for Human Relationships?

Cleansing of the Temple Gospel Narrative

Cleansing of the Temple

In today’s climate of heightened political rancor, some believers use the cleansing of the temple gospel narrative to justify all manner of egregious and even violent behavior toward others–“After all, Jesus whipped people.”—sic. The cleansing of the temple account is one of the favorite proof texts of those who want to try to deflect the potency of Christ’s clear ethical commands to overcome evil with good and to love one’s enemies. Those who proof text this passage to justify their behavior are betraying the scriptures and the Lord they profess to serve.

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Apostolic Covering – Old Idea in a New Dress Stop the Madness - Part Two

Apostolic Covering

Apostolic Covering – Stop the Madness

Within Charismatic circles, there is a widely influential subset group called the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). One of their strongly held beliefs is the necessity of submitting to an alleged “apostolic covering” or maintaining what is called “governmental alignment” to a “covering apostle.”  It is alleged that failure to do so, cuts off heavenly blessing and opens the individual to spiritual dangers and demonic attacks. The Protestant forefathers must be rolling over in their graves. They gave their life’s blood to do away with the belief system that required a class of religious professionals to broker or mediate the blessings of heaven to the believer. It is beyond painful to see the resurrected form of this doctrine being espoused in so-called apostolic churches and foisted under the banner of “new revelation,” “restoring apostolic covering,” and “restoring apostolic authority.” It is not new revelation. It is old heresy in a new dress.

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Spiritual Covering Stop the Nonsense

stopsignSpiritual covering is a biblically illegitimate, bad idea, that just won’t go away.

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The Leadership Legitimacy Survey When is it appropriate to confront your leadership?

What does legitimate leadership look like? Not This!

What does legitimate leadership look like? Not This!

I am often asked: When is it appropriate to challenge or confront my church leadership? There is a full spectrum of opinions about the definition and expression of leadership in the church. There is also a broad spectrum of opinion on if, when, and how to confront church leadership. Jesus is our example in this matter, whether we like His example or not. Take my little “Leadership Legitimacy” survey and discover what Jesus would have you do.

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The Kingdom of Heaven and Violence – Matt. 11:12 Jesus' Kingdom is Not Forcibly Advancing

The Kingdom of Heaven is Not Forcibly Advancing

The Kingdom of Heaven and Violence

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by force. – Matt. 11:12, KJV.

All my Christian life I have found the idea that Jesus somehow endorses violent human effort for His cause as very odd. It contradicts the rest of His teaching, the life He lived, the example He set, and the rest of the New Testament. What does this passage about the kingdom of heaven and violence mean?

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A “Culture of Honor?” Legitimate or Controlling? You Decide

An Honor Culture

A culture of honor

Building a culture of honor is a much bandied-about phrase these days in many non-denominational and “apostolic and prophetic” groups. On the one hand, you have our civic culture of rabid individualism and egalitarianism. It’s in the ditch of disregard and disdain for any concept of honor or respect. In the opposite ditch is a reactionary response to this cultural slide: honor that is non-relational, coerced, demanded, and required because of ungodly measures of rank and status. Both ditches are at work in the body of Christ, and both are wrong. The issue is not the legitimacy of honor. The problem is the values and ideals of what constitutes honor in a kingdom context, and why, how, and to whom it is due.

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Grace and Obedience It's a Root and Fruit Issue

Obedience and Grace

Grace and Obedience

I once heard a leading pastor of a “successful” evangelical church in a city preach the following: “We are saved by grace, but after that, it is all up to us.” This is a frightening proposition.

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Church and Money

Money and the Church – Part 3 Patterns in Millennial Generation Giving

The Church and Money - Part 3

Money and the Church – Part 3

It’s obvious that the long-term future belongs to the youngest current generations of adults, The Millennials. The beliefs, values, and giving habits of this generation must be understood if we are going to effectively speak their language, in incarnational love, on the topic of finances and giving.

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The “Doctrine” versus “Love” Conundrum Guest Blog by Aaron Tilbury

The Doctrine Conundrum

The Doctrine Conundrum

Recently I have  been blessed with the expansion of relationship with brothers and sisters outside my direct church family. Like the gospel will do, and like Jesus will do, those lines become blurred and the family just becomes, well, more family: still the church–still the body–just more connected. However, it didn’t take long for me to realize that doctrine can be a relational stumbling block in the “extended” family.

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Money and the Church – Part 1 The Love - Life Middle of the Road

The Church and Money

Money and the Church – Part 1

Is there a better way to express a culture of giving and receiving than blindly throwing ten percent into the mouth of a voracious, impersonal, non-relational, religious machine that consumes resources like the Borg assimilating the universe?[i] I think there is.

But there as many opinions on this topic as there are believers!

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